ASTYPALEA

Guide of ASTYPALEA

Astypàlea is a rugged and rocky island that belongs to the Dodecanese islands in the southeastern Aegean Sea. This is a remote and wild island with a completely barren almost lunar landscape with a  special charm. The little white houses clinging to the coastline is in contrast with the sea which has many shades of blue. Astypàlea is formed of two separate islands, Messa Nixi and Oxo Nixi, joined by a strip of land that make it similar to the shape of a butterfly.

History 

The history of this island is similar to the other Dodecanese and Cycladic islands, it has been constantly invaded since ancient times by the Dori, Phoenicians, Romans, Byzantines and Venetians becoming, finally, a personal fiefdom of the Querini family. Later it was under the dominion of the Ottoman Turks, the Italians, the Germans until it became part of Greece in 1948.

Places to visit 

The island’s main settlement, hilltop Hora, is a tumble of bleached-white houses cascading down from a medieval fortress to the fishing port of Skala. The island is a predominantly Greek tourist destination, so you can still find a very traditional atmosphere. There are windmills that stand out from afar, typical Cycladic streets and monasteries of Agios Ioannis and Agia Livia.

Beaches 

This is an island for purists who do not want to find crowds of international tourists and are rather looking for 'authentic' Greece, with fishermen, farmers and hospitable local people. Astypàlea with its beautiful pebble beaches and hidden coves is a pleasant surprise for all types of tourist. the beaches Agios Kostantinos and Kaminakia are the most famous on the island. They have silvery sand and pebbles due to the volcano on the island. Be sure to visit the Caves of Negrou that served as a refuge for pirates in the past, and a hiding place for their treasure!

Related destination guides